Book Review: Paul’s Key to the Liberated Life: Romans Six to Eight
In this very bold, clear and inspired booklet, Norman Grubb states that the Biblical key to opening the door to God’s truth for a liberated life, a free and victorious life, lies in Romans 6-8. But let us first ask ourselves these things: Would we, Christians in the world today, consider that we might not be liberated, not free–imprisoned even–in our daily lives? Do we the Church truly live “dead to sin and alive to God”? Do we believe that we are only slaves, branches or wives as God says we are–or do we at our core really believe Satan’s lies that we are so much more than that?
I believe that if we honestly answer these questions for ourselves as we read this booklet, we will truly benefit from Norman’s laborings and delvings into Paul’s teachings. What comes through so clearly in this booklet is Norman’s desire (God’s desire in him) that we come to a full and complete understanding of Paul’s message to the Romans and to all of us in these three chapters, six, seven and eight. The key to this understanding lies in recognizing that Satan since the fall Satan has deluded all men into thinking that they are independent, self-managed selves. Norman (and Paul) share with us their revelation that exposes this lie and replaces it with God’s truth that we have never been independent selves that have operated apart from an indwelling deity spirit.
Norman first takes us through Paul’s explanation in Romans 6 of why born again believers are “dead to sin and alive to God.” He points out Paul’s profound statement that “Sin will not have dominion over you because you are not under law, but under grace.” This statement is alarming to many who fear that absence of law would lead to dangerous self-seeking license. Norman shows why this is a totally incorrect way to think, but the way that Satan has deluded us into thinking since the fall. Norman gives a crystal clear definition of Satan’s lie of independence and why this root deception that we are independent selves is and remains the one problem in a Christian’s life today, and the problem that certainly keeps us in bondage to sin and the law.
In Romans 6 and 7, Paul gives several illustrations to show that as sinners, we were always expressers of Satan and his sin nature and through our new birth we are now expressers of Christ and His holy nature, never just ourselves with a nature of our own. Norman goes through each of these, the picture of a slave obeying his owner, a branch producing the fruit of the vine, and the wife bound to her husband, to show how Paul gives evidence that there is no time in our lives we are not operated by the one deity or the other.
Paul tells in his own experience, as Norman shows us, how this delusion of independent self kept him in bondage to “the law of sin and death.” He, Paul, begins with his personal failure to keep the law and his revelation in the Arabian desert as to why he was unable to do so. Norman takes us through the verses in which Paul, now agonizing in his “wretchedness” and “slavery” understands that the law was provided to expose his deception, to “slay” him and ultimately to deliver him from the delusion that he was a Paul-self who could keep the law. Not only does Paul rejoice in and accept the “deliverance” from his prison, but he also now has sight to see that his only prison was himself, or more correctly, his belief in the deceiver’s independent-self lie.
And so on to Romans 8 where Paul praises God for the freedom the Spirit of Christ already in him has confirmed to him. There is no more condemnation because there is no fictitious “self” to be condemned! Paul rejoices in his deliverance from Romans 7 bondage into Romans 8 liberty, to the reality of Galatians 2:20. Read on to see the fruits of that liberty in the Spirit-operated life. So now we can see, as Paul saw, the “key to the liberated life,” and that God provides as sure a way for “daily consistent and holy living” as he does for cancelling out our past sins. His gift is one of a full salvation–past, present and future sins are taken care of! Norman reviews how Paul turned the key in the section of the booklet called “The Lost Secret.” Then to further establish our understanding of this enormously critical understanding that Paul passes on, Norman writes the brilliantly concise section “To Sum Up.”
This booklet blesses us with not only a deeper study of Romans 6-8, but also an understanding of Paul’s dramatic experience from newborn believer, to his years of spiritual adolescence, through his crisis and revelation, then finally to his deliverance and total liberation. Again, to truly benefit from this blessing, let us sincerely consider if we are living a liberated Christian life, “dead to sin and alive to God,” and seeing ourselves not as illusory self-relying selves, but as vessels–“total Satan-containers in our unsaved days but now total God-containers” by His grace and mercy!
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 24 No 2
- God’s Twofold Restoration
- The Editor’s Note
- The Necessity of Doubt
- Death to Sin: The Radical Solution of the Cross
- Romans Tells Us How
- Two Problems Solved
- Our Total Salvation: The Two Works of Jesus on the Cross and in the Resurrection
- Book Review: Paul’s Key to the Liberated Life: Romans Six to Eight
- How Acquire Faith?
- Faith in Action
- Rees Howells and the New Birth
- Free From the Law of Sin and Death
- Words to Live By
- What Really Happens at Regeneration?
- The Total Remedy